In 2020, The World Went Virtual. But Should Your Financial Planner Still Live in Your Area?Insights
In early 2020, governments around the globe took drastic measures to slow the spread of Covid-19. As a result, we saw a major shift in the way we work, interact with others and go about our daily lives. While working with an advisor virtually is nothing new, the relevance of virtual advising has increased significantly amidst the global pandemic.
Money is one of the most personal and important aspects of your life, meaning you may feel more comfortable trusting someone you can get to know in-person. But with today’s technology and ongoing need to continue social distancing, now’s the perfect time to consider whether working with a local advisor is really a necessity or not. Instead of physical location, it may be more prudent to consider other factors, such as designations and certifications, years of experience, areas of expertise and more.
As you consider whether or not to work with someone in your area or beyond, ask yourself the following questions.
Am I Comfortable Utilizing Technology?
Virtual advisors will likely want to meet with you face-to-face over video chat, whether through Skype, Zoom, Facetime or other video conferencing tools. They’ll likely want to share their screen with you, go over important documents and even have you virtually sign paperwork. When you’re not meeting virtually face-to-face, you’ll likely have access to view your portfolio and other financial information online.
It’s likely your advisor will work with you to try to make your experience as comfortable as possible. They can provide instructions for using their tools and answer any questions you may have to help ease your concerns. But if you’re still uncomfortable with building a technology-heavy relationship with your advisor, working with someone local may be better.
What Services Do I Need?
The type of services you’re looking for from an advisor may shape the type of relationship you’re looking to build. If you’d prefer to remain fairly hands-off or you have a demanding schedule, working together virtually may be much more preferred than meeting in-person during office hours. On the other hand, if you prefer to work together closely with your advisor, drop by their office to ask a question or check-in often, you may be more comfortable working with an advisor within driving distance.
Do I Need an Advisor With Certain Expertise?
Another important consideration is experience and credentials. If you’re in need of someone with a specific niche (such as handling student loan debt for medical professionals), there may not be an advisor who specializes in this in your area. If that’s the case, it may be worth working with someone virtually who can provide the expertise you’re looking for.
In a world that’s gone virtual, working with an advisor simply because they are local is no longer a necessity. The technology to build a well-developed relationship virtually is there, and it’s being utilized by thousands of advisors, brokers and agents around the globe. The important thing is to determine what you’re comfortable doing when it comes to your money and finding a partner who will be compatible and capable of helping you reach your goals.